Combine your keywords/search terms with Boolean operators
- OR (synonyms: any of these words)
- AND (restrict: all these words)
- NOT (excludes: all these words)
Break your research topic into keywords.
Many databases use specific terms to label documents, use these "official" database terms from the results that work for you
Try the thesaurus or subject headings
Use parentheses with your terms and Boolean operators to create your search phrase
Determine your conditions and apply them to your search as limits or filters
Place quotation marks (“ ”) around phrases to keep words together.
Add asterisks (*) to “fill-in-the-blank” at the end of a word
The asterisk will be replaced by any applicable letters
This is called truncation
You can use asterisks as a shortcut for OR-ing words that have identical roots
For example, paint* will search for paint, painting, painters, painterly, etc.